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Travel to Cambodia, an Exotic Place for Adventure in Southeast Asia

I feel somehow changed by my visit to Angkor Wat. I have been to many wonderful venues in the world, but none made me feel the awesomeness of human determination and accomplishment as did this visit to Cambodia.

Discover Cambodia’s Hidden Treasures

Once the site of horrible crimes against humanity, Cambodia is a beautiful country with a rich culture and a people who, in spite of the tragedy only a generation ago, are warm and bouncing back with incredible hope and life. From the stunning outline of the Angkor Watt complex to the scenic coastlines and deep jungles, Cambodia has a lot to offer an adventurous traveler.

Green stamp on jungle style

In a country best known for its temples, Jane Dunford finds a floating ecolodge that's a gateway to a pristine environment.

Lucky Adventure Travel Indochina – Summer Promotion 2013

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA has launched “Great summer holiday with lucky travels” for summer promotion 2013 in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia. The program applies for all customers request tour on website from 25 March to 30 September 2013.

8/21/09

Visa exemptions to Cambodia - costly but worth it: officials

Despite costing millions, extra tourism aids economy, govt says

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Tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple complex outside Siem Reap in this file photo. AFP

Tourism officials last week announced the loss of more US$14 million in revenue generated by tourists from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations since January 2008, when the government adopted a visa-exemption agreement with five member-states.

According to a report by the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia honoured 278,842 visa exemptions in the first half of this year from travellers from Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos, which resulted in a loss of $5.5 million in revenues.

The report added that last year revenues declined by $8.6 million after visa exemptions totaling 431,426 were issued to tourists from the same countries.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said Sunday that Cambodia would extend the visa-exemption programme to four additional ASEAN member-states despite the loss of revenue.

"We realise that our visa-exemption programme for travellers from ASEAN countries results in lower national revenues, but we will continue it because increased arrivals can boost economic growth Kingdom-wide and will create many jobs for Cambodians," Thong Khon said.

He added that visa exemptions would be extended to all ASEAN countries by 2015.

"Next year, we will implement visa exemptions for Thailand, followed later by Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar," Thong Khon said.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Government-Private Sector Tourism Working Group, said Sunday that the visa-exemption programme could help woo more tourists from

ASEAN nations, adding that the number of Vietnamese tourists rose 40 percent last year following the establishment of the visa exemption.

"I think the [programme] provides a positive sign for tourism providers to increase their service competitiveness in order to lure more tourists [to Cambodia]," Ho Vandy said.Some 552,461 tourists from nine ASEAN countries visited Cambodia, according to Ministry of Tourism data.

Cambodia agreed to its first visa-exemption programme with Malaysia in the late 1990s, adding the Philippines, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam in subsequent years.

The Ministry of Tourism estimates that under the visa-exemption programme, at least 1 million tourists from nine ASEAN countries will travel to Cambodia between 2010 and 2011.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said last week that the Kingdom could expect to lose as much as $20 million in revenue each year if the country implemented visa exemptions with all ASEAN member-states.

Source: phnompenhpost.com

Recommendation in Cambodia:

Cambodia Travel: http://www.activetravelcambodia.com
Visit Angkor Temples: http://www.visitangkortemples.com

8/20/09

Top things to do in Cambodia

There are so many exciting sights in Cambodia that you’ll hardly find yourself without things to do. Just scrambling around the ruins at Angkor can keep you busy for days if not weeks, or you can climb up for a bird’s-eye view of the complex by hot-air balloon. The country is beautiful, and even more incredible for rising out of the intense history of war and genocide. Take time to visit major sites that give you a glimpse into the history of the country, but also make sure you get to meet some of the friendly and positive people who have weathered through the history.



Cook Khmer-style curry or other cuisine.
There are plenty of Khmer cooking classes in the capital, held in English or French. The Frizz restaurant on Sisowath Quay operates some of the most popular courses and will have you creating an amok fish curry to die for.

Explore the temples at Angkor
You could spend oodles of time watching the sunrises and the sunsets at this amazing temple complex. Especially if you’re interested in photography, there is so much to see and so many nooks to explore. Hire a guide for a day or two to hear the stories behind the temples.

Fire a rocket launcher or M-16.
You won’t find a lot of places in the world where you can go crazy firing weaponry. There are two venues that offer this bizarre form of entertainment, one in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap.

Get high over Angkor.
The best way to see Angkor by far is from the air. It’s a spectacular sight that you will remember for the rest of your life. The tethered hot-air balloon offers a budget way to soar above the temples for about 15 minutes; or you can go all out with a helicopter tour.

Hold you nose at Stung Meanchey Garbage Dump.

Your entire outlook on life will change in this one visit. Shocking, alarming and filled with despair, this garbage dump is an example of how many of Cambodia’s children spend their time – sifting through garbage all day long to survive. If your kids complain about going to school, they probably won’t after they see this. Donations can also be made to the humanitarian organisation Pour Sourire D’un Enfant at their onsite office.

Ride an elephant.
If you’ve never ridden an elephant, there’s no experience quite like it. The activity is most popular in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. Be sure to go with a reputable company and take a guide as land mines and other dangers may spoil your day. You can also ride an elephant around Angkor or at the zoo on Mekong Island, a daytrip from the capital.

Take a sunset cruise along the Mekong river.
One-hour cruises are available and will give you great insight on the lives of the people living on and around the river. The sunset is especially brilliant from the boat and this is a relaxing way to end your day.

Visit the Memorial at Choeung Ek.
Located 15kms from Phnom Penh, this is a memorial to those who died in the infamous Killing Fields. Here you can view around 8,000 skulls arranged by sex and age behind a glass panel.

Visit the Stone and Woodcarving School in Siem Reap.
This is a great place to see how stone and wood is carved into reproductions of the ancient Khmer temple carvings. Prices are cheap and you’ll be supporting a good cause.

Volunteer for a good cause or donate blood.
There are numerous NGOs and charity organisations doing good work in Cambodia. Additionally, only about one-third of the country’s requirement for blood is being met, so you can make a donation at the Cambodian Red Cross to help.

Watch traditional Khmer theatre.

A few different venues in the city offer the chance to watch Khmer performances with the most popular being the Aspara Theatre at the Angkor Village Resort, which is also a restaurant. The evening shows feature a wealth of traditionally dressed performers, meaning there is lots of gold finery on display and the chance to experience classical
Khmer music and dance.

Watch traditional Khmer kickboxing.
Khmer traditional boxing, or Pradal Serey, has made a huge comeback since it was banned by the Khmer Rouge. The biggest fights are held at the Olympic Stadium, but you can find smaller bouts at other venues too, so ask around.

For more tips about traveling in Cambodia, please visit : www.activetravelcambodia.com/tour.php

8/13/09

Having a small ship adventure in ASIA

If you love cruising but would like to try a new adventure that will take you closer to the sights and sounds of incredible destinations, then small ship cruising might be right up your alley.

Imagine seeing wildlife from just a few feet off shore instead of through binoculars hundreds of feet away. Cruise up small fjords seeing scenery that few people will ever see. Land at small villages or towns that give you a true experience with the locals.

Float Market, Mekong river, Vietnam

Small ship cruising gives you a more personal experience without the crowds formed by thousands of other passengers on today's mega-cruise ships.

Small ship cruising can take you in many different directions to exotic destinations around the world. Vietnam is becoming an intriguing destination and there is a 12-day cruise starting in Hanoi and traveling south making multiple stops such as Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, eventually ending up in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). You could even add a land tour to the end of the cruise exploring Cambodia.

Besides, you can have a Mekong river cruise tour. This trip offers great combination of the two exotic lands and cultures. The trip starts in the dynamic city of Saigon. You will travel to Mekong Delta to experience great boat trip on the mighty river. You canl walk on village roads, visit to local houses and take ferry to cross the Mekong River. The highlight of Mekong Delta is the busy and colorful market of Cai Rang. From Mekong Delta, traveling to Phnom Penh by boat and you start journey to the majestic beauty of Angkor Wat.

For a longer adventure, pick up the cruise in Japan exploring Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then heading over to China stopping at Shanghai, Xiamen and Hong Kong before heading to Vietnam. Your adventure in Asia will give you an unusual and interesting vacation getting you acquainted with their centuries old customs and culture.

Travel Tip: On your next trip travel to a destination you have not been to before. You just might find a new favorite destination loaded with new sights, sounds, food and adventure.

Source: thespectrum.com

Recommendation Cruise Tours:
Family Adventure Tours in Asia: http://activetravel.asia/ata_adventure/family/
Mekong Delta and Angkor Wat Tour: http://www.activetravelvietnam.com/tour.php?op=detail&tourId=62

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